When we use Face ID on our iPhones to identify ourselves, it’s pretty darn cool. But our perspective shifts when the technology is used in other ways. Should it?
Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]
The best iOS calculator I’ve ever used is PCalc from James Thomson (TLA Systems).. By best, I don’t mean just good looks. I mean computational expertise imbued in an app that can be trusted to always get the answer right based on numerical analysis principles. PCalc is also a lot of fun, has a boatload of options in the settings, and even has an RPN mode for those who grew up with RPN on Hewlett Packard calculators. It’s Apple’s App Of The day, so head on over and get the best designed calculator money can buy. It also has watchOS support.
The subject of how tempted we are to treat artificial intelligent entities as real human beings has some up once again.
Google’s Chromebooks and office G-Suite are doing a good job of luring business and education away from Apple and Microsoft and into their fold. Here’s the analysis from Friday’s Particle Debris page 2.
Josh Centers is the Managing Editor of Tidbits.com and has published several Take Control Books. His latest book is “Take Control of Apple Home Automation.” And so, I invited him to make a return appearance on Background Mode to chat about that very subject. The book is a complete guide and starts from the very beginning of the design and wiring process and the use of various hubs. Josh clearly explained how to use Apple’s HomeKit home automation platform to control smart devices in the home, such as lights, outlets, thermostats, and more. And he’s very frank about various myths surrounding home automation. We also chatted about beginner security concerns as well as the ability to maintain control and terminate any service if necessary. If you have an interest in home automation, this show is must listening.
Apple’s HomePod video ad focuses on the old, tried and true. Takes few risks and is predictable. What happened?
Our popular culture carries with it themes, pseudo-science, and technical fears. Woe to any company whose product missteps into that quagmire.
John provides a basic introduction to the coming 5G wireless technology for the curious iPhone user.
David Pogue has made an interesting observation about how millennials are watching videos on their smartphones.
Joe Kissell is a writer and author with over 60 technical books to his credit. He’s a contributing editor with Tidbits, and recently became the owner and publisher of the Take Control series of eBooks. Early in his career, Joe had a strong interest in language and holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics. Along the way, however, he also got very technical with computers, and that landed him a job as a product manager with Nisus. Subsequently, Joe was a software developer for Kensington. In 2017, he accepted an offer from Adam Engst to acquire Take Control Books. Joe and his wife run that business—currently using a brand new iMac Pro. When not editing, Joe pursues T’ai Chi, cooking, walking and travel. Joe tells his career story, chock full of technical serendipity, with awesome charm.
Computers are good a generating speech, parsing human speech and minimally translating text. But when will it feel like there’s genuine, human intelligence on the computer’s part?
John used to always have his 12.9-inch iPad Pro in his lap while watching TV, but no more. His iPhone X has replaced it.
macOS is brilliant. It’s the best GUI and development environment ever put on top of a UNIX OS. So why does Apple engage in so many silly things that annoy (or imperil) users? Particle Debris page 2 looks at three.
Chris Matthews is the VP of Marketing for Mayfield Robotics. They make the companion robot called Kuri that was recently shown to our Jeff Gamet at CES 2018. Having been a very interested observer of emerging robot technology, I invited Chris to be on the show. We talked about how Mayfield Robotics was formed, the founders, how the company got its name, the human and engineering design principles behind Kuri, what mistakes were avoided, how Kuri protects family privacy and security, the nuances of Kuri’s physical design, how Kuri communicates with the family, its processing power, the price and the shipping status. Kuri is probably going to be my first family robot, so tune-in as Chris explains how Kuri works in fascinating detail. You may want one too.
Just what exactly is an intelligent speaker? It’s a companion robot that just sits, without mobility. Who wants that?
John just interviewed a company that’s making a family robot companion, and he sees the future more clearly than ever.
In iOS 11, John shows how to create a PDF of a webpage, save it in Files, rename it and delete it.
One of the most annoying features of macOS is the persistent notification of available software updates. John shows how to get back in control.
Ben Pearson, an electrical engineer by training, has put together a website that tracks the Tesla Roadster that the SpaceX Falcon Heavy put into orbit around the sun. His website scripts extract data from from JPL Horizons to provide continuous updates on the position of Roadster’s passenger Starman. Check it out.
Amy Harder covers energy and climate change for Axios. She writes a weekly column called the Harder Line that reports on trends, has exclusive scoops and analyzes the news driving the debate about energy and climate. Her coverage includes congressional legislation, regulations, lobbying, and international policy actions affecting the United States. Amy holds a B.A. in Journalism with honors. In our interview, I asked Amy about some of the most important issues of her coverage: what is “clean coal,” how does global warming affect climate, do all conservatives deny global warming, what is a good website for scientific information, what is her workday like, and what could scientists do to better to communicate with the public? Come meet and listen to the reporter who has a terrific grasp of these important topics.